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BFC hears proposed resolution against harassment, other issues



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Members of the Bloomington Faculty Council vote Feb. 5 in Presidents Hall in favor of adding political affiliation to the list of backgrounds discussed during bystander intervention training.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

The Bloomington Faculty Council met Tuesday to pass a proposal, discuss a resolution against harassment and hear a variety of reports. 

Proposed resolution against harassment

The proposed resolution discussed a January harassment incident that occurred on campus, where a man verbally attacked a freshman student on the basis of race

“All harassment creates a toxic environment and there needs to be better responses as bystanders,” said Selene Carter, co-chair of the Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee. 

Carter acknowledged her own position of privilege and spoke of the need for all students, especially non-minoritized ones, to intervene in situations of intolerance. 

“There is a growing climate of bias and intolerance and division nationally and we are feeling the effects locally,” she said. “We need to create support for students and stop the bias from growing.” 

Non-tenure track election units

The BFC passed a proposal from the Nomination Committee to increase the number of non-tenure track representatives and re-adjust the number of various other representatives. 

Diane Henshel, president-elect and chair of the Nomination Committee, presented a proposal, which suggested an increase in non-tenure track member seats from three to 15. 

It planned for the three current members to complete their term through 2020. Five non-tenure track members would be appointed to one-year terms with their positions rolling to the election in 2020. Seven non-tenure track members would be appointed to for two-year terms with their positions rolling to the election in 2021. 

Educational Policies Committee

The Educational Policies Committee report focused on the steps taken to explore an updated diversity requirement within general education. 

The exploration led to a policy making the shared goal of diversity in the U.S. a required component and to formation of a Diversity task force charged with specifying learning outcomes for this shared goal, Simon Brassell, co-chair of the Education Policies Committee, said.

Brassell also asked for member advice. 

“We need to look to the future of education,” Brassell said. 

Maggie Hopkins, IU Student Government vice president of administration, applauded the steps the committee has taken and is looking to take. She said addressing the diversity requirement is one of the most-heard requests from students. 

Faculty Board of Review

The Faculty Board of Review is one of five elected committees on the BFC. 

Beth Gazley, chair of the Faculty Board of Review, presented the board’s annual report to the Council, which discusses the cases brought to the board during the 2017-2018 academic year. 

The board hears and makes recommendations on grievances of faculty, librarians and associate faculty against administrative action, according to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic affairs website. 

The Faculty Board of Review heard one case in the 2017-2018 academic year. 

“A single case in our book is not perfect but is close to perfect,” Gazley said. 

Faculty Mediation Committee

The Faculty Mediation Committee investigates faculty, associate faculty, librarians and administration grievances and attempts to find resolutions through mediation, said Jessica Lester, Chair of the Faculty Mediation Committee.

She reminded the council of the scope and context of the Faculty Mediation Committee before reporting on the past year.

The Committee heard four petitions in the 2017-2018 academic year, though two were ultimately dropped. The petitions were regarding salary adjustment, initial appointment and contractual concerns, academic freedom and dismissal. 

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